Criminal Attorney Fairfax, VA
What happens when you are charged with a crime? This is a common question that Attorney Dave Albo receives on a daily basis. Criminal activity is not as rampant as you may believe if you listen to the mainstream news. In fact, there are only about 2,000 felony crimes committed for every 100,000 individuals in the United States. Another thing to know about crime rates is that most take place in large cities.
So, what happens if you are in the wrong place and get charged with a criminal offense by a police officer? Do you know the different steps in the judicial system that every suspect must go through? Here is a brief overview to help you understand what you could expect.
Being Arrested for a Crime
Your arresting officer may ask you a hundred questions because an arrest report must be created as soon as you are transported to the holding facility. It is in your best interest to ask for an attorney or to refuse to answer any probing questions which would call for a judgment on your part.
Once the report is written, the document is sent to the prosecutor’s office, where it will be analyzed. The prosecutor will decide if a criminal charge should be filed. Sometimes, the celebrity status or the crime’s depravity will force the office to prosecute the crimes in the public eye. Talk to a criminal attorney in Fairfax, VA to see how your situation may be viewed by a local prosecutor.
Deciding With the Grand Jury
The next step your case will take is to the grand jury for a decision on charges. The grand jury does not decide the innocence or guilt of a person; that is done at trial before a regular jury of your peers. Instead, the prosecutor will send the following to the seated jury members.
- A list of charges
- Any collected evidence
- A list of witnesses
- Other pertinent data
Once the “bill of charges” is presented, the jury will be asked for a decision on whether charges should be brought against the defendant and what those charges should be. If the prosecutor doesn’t like the answer, new evidence can be presented, or a new grand jury can be called.
Hearing the Preliminary Evidence
If you are accused of committing a felony, a preliminary hearing is held instead of calling a grand jury. All evidence is presented to the judge, and the court is the one to determine if the evidence warrants a trial.
Getting Help Right Away
If you are ever arrested for a possible misdemeanor or a felony, call a criminal defense attorney right away. Having someone on your side who understands the judicial system can make the bumpy process go more smoothly. The attorney can also make sure your legal rights are completely protected. With new and changing criminal laws in Virginia, it’s best to consult a criminal attorney with years of experience in the area. That’s why you should contact Attorney Dave Albo today to discuss next steps for your situation.